The climate crisis is taking a growing toll on the mental health of children and young people, experts have warned.
Increasing levels of “eco-anxiety” – the chronic fear of environmental doom – were likely to be underestimated and damaging to many in the long term, public health experts said.
Although not yet considered a diagnosable condition, recognition of eco-anxiety and its complex psychological effects was increasing, they said, as was its “disproportionate” impact on children and young people.
A recent international survey of climate anxiety in young people aged 16 to 25 showed that the psychological burdens of climate crisis were “profoundly affecting huge numbers of these young people around the world”, they added.
Research offered insights into how young people’s emotions were linked with their feelings of betrayal and abandonment by governments and adults, they said.
Governments were seen as failing to respond adequately, leaving young people with “no future” and “humanity doomed”.
Rao and Powell said it was important to consider what could be done to alleviate the rising levels of climate anxiety. »